(Your Name, Address, and Date)
Dear (fill in Congressman/Congresswoman/Senator) (name):
My (son/daughter/nephew/granddaughter/friend's child) _____________ (child's name and age) was diagnosed with (type of cancer) on (date).
While current treatments represent a tremendous advance in therapy for kids with cancer, the chemotherapy and radiation being administered as standard protocols are still highly toxic and can lead to life-long chronic health problems. Too many kids are still dying from the disease. Too many who survive are doing so at great physical and emotional expense. It is simply unacceptable. 3,000 kids die each year in the U.S. from cancer and the number is growing. IT IS THE NUMBER ONE DISEASE KILLER OF CHILDREN. More than Cystic Fibrosis, Asthma and Diabetes combined.
Due to complicated political and financial reasons, pediatric cancer research is grossly underfunded by both federal and private agencies. Pharmaceutical companies fund over 50% of adult cancer research, but virtually nothing for kids. The federal government, through increased funding MUST level this playing field. It is devastating to hear of continuing proposed Federal Budget cuts. We hope you will become a much needed voice for the children..
Hear are some things you can do to stop childhood cancer from killing our children:
1. Vote for increases in the NIH budget and urge NIH to allocate more not less to childhood cancer research.
2. Fund the recently signed Carolyn Pryce Conquer Childhood Cancer Act
3. Become an advocate for Neuroblastoma kids. They need more heroes in their corner.
4. Find ways to provide incentives to drug companies, via the FDA, to develop and test new drugs for children.
5. Provide incentives for the best and brightest researchers to enter the pediatric oncology field, which is far less lucrative than adult oncology.
6. Target orphan drug funding. These are drugs that are extremely useful and potentially life saving, but have no commercial value for drug companies. The awarding of such funds should be based on patient outcome.
7. Require federal and private insurance companies to compensate treatment facilities and physicians at rates on par with adult treatment.
8. Make sure all kids have equal access to clinical trials by supporting Children's Patient Bill of Rights that includes requirements that insurance companies cover the routine patient care costs of clinical trials which are the standard of care for pediatric cancer patients.
Aside from the obvious gain over society's personal losses, you should be motivated to help cure childhood cancer for the following reasons:
1. Advances in pediatric research have yielded treatment models and genetic information that greatly benefit adult cancer patients. (This is well documented by professional research cooperatives like the Children's Oncology Group); the reverse is not always true.
2. The children you save will have a lifetime to contribute to our society; they are our greatest resource; they will be tax-paying, productive members of society for many years if saved.
3. Many parents cannot afford the unbelievable cost of treating childhood cancers -- even if they have insurance. These escalating costs will eventually fall to the governement to cover in the form of Welfare and/or Medicaid.
(your name)P.S.: CHILDHOOD CANCER IS NOT ACCEPTABLE! Please care about our children. I hope you will use the resources and wisdom of your office to investigate this issue further and vote with your heart. Thank you for giving this your full attention.